Why don’t men go to church anymore? The decline of male church attendance

Church sucks, that's why men are bored there
Church sucks, that’s why men are bored there

I most recently spent half a year at a PCA church, and then another half a year at a Southern Baptist church. I attended Sunday services as well as Wednesday night Bible study. I am now looking for a new church. For now, I just look around for a sermon I like and listen to that. In this post, I’ll explain why I think men don’t like church.

There are three areas where churches fail to attract men:

    1. Apologetics
    2. Feminism, sex and marriage
    3. Policy and current events

Apologetics

The PCA church discouraged me from becoming a member of the church because they said that conversion to Christianity due to reason and evidence was contrary to their teachings, and a “red flag”. Their words. I didn’t try to fight them on it, because they are Reformed Presbyterian, and this is their actual view. Their approach to apologetics was “pre-suppositional”, which is to say, they try to convince people to become Christians by asking them to assume that the Bible is infallible, without any argumentation or evidence. Naturally, this doesn’t work, so they aren’t trained to answer any serious questions from non-Christians. (1 Pet 3:15-16)

The Reformed Baptist SBC church is led by people like Russell Moore and Al Mohler, who take the “magic words” approach to evangelism. I.e. – they think that people become Christians just by speaking Bible verses out of context to them. So, when the atheist asks “do you have any evidence for God’s existence?” or “do you have any evidence for Jesus’ resurrection?”, their response is to quote Bible verses to the atheist, which have nothing to do with those topics. Christianity has lost so much influence in the culture under their approach, which is not even Biblical. (Mat 12:38–41)

These approaches to evangelism are not used in any other area of human endeavor. No one replies to questions about auto mechanics, or software engineering, or gardening, or cooking, by spouting Bible verses. In literally every other area of human endeavor, the laws of logic and supporting evidence are seen as assets when making claims to know something about the world to someone who disagrees with you.

Feminism, Sex and Marriage

First wave feminism simply asked for women to be given the same liberty and opportunity as men. That was good. But later versions of destroyed all distinctions between men and women. By destroying femininity, feminism directed women away from the traditional life plan of marriage, children and home-making.

Feminism changed how women voted. Today, about 75% of young, unmarried women vote for policies like taxpayer-funded birth control, taxpayer-funded abortion, no-fault divorce, affirmative action for women in schools and in the workplace, taxpayer-funded daycare, public schools, single-mother welfare, social security, etc. These policies and programs raised tax rates, and grew government, making it easier for women to have children without having to choose a marriage-ready man she wasn’t attracted to. Instead, she could choose men she was attracted to, and just use government programs as a substitute provider if it didn’t “work out”. Thanks to feminism, we have a 42% out-of-wedlock birth rate, and it’s rising. Few female college graduates are debt-free. About 5% of women emerge from college as virgins.

Under feminism, the traditional male roles and virtues were deemed “sexist”. Women were shamed for choosing early marriage, large families, and stable men who were good at being husbands and fathers. Instead, women today chose men based on appearance. They spend their 20s and early 30s giving men who will not commit to them premarital sex. The men who are getting sex thrown at them have no interest in Judeo-Christian values, chastity, fidelity, commitment or raising children. Women mistake the men’s willingness to have sex and cohabitate as signs that they are close to marriage. But in fact, chasing the hot bad boys just eats up the chastity, youth and beauty that could have made them interesting to the marriage-minded men they scorned. Later on, they realize that they’ve wasted their 20s on bad boys, but by then they are not attractive for marriage.

What has the response been to feminism from pastors and churches? They accept the anti-male, anti-marriage policies, that came out of feminism. They accept the promiscuity, and the marriage-delaying that came from feminism. Today, pastors just try to bully the men who were passed over to marry the women who had previously rejected them, despite the higher risk of divorce caused by the women’s past behavior.

Policy and current events

Most pastors are anti-intellectual, and they believe that this is a virtue, since they are focused narrowly on what the Bible explicitly says. Because of this, they aren’t able to understand which laws and policies allow Christianity and Christian families to flourish. I agree that what the Bible speaks about is of the highest importance. But we need to understand how to achieve the goals that the Bible states, as well as how to counter the forces that threaten the achievement of those goals.

For example, Christianity thrives when marriage thrives. Christianity is passed on from parents to children. Anything that threatens marriage, or interferes with parental authority, weakens the influence of Christianity. So, policies like higher taxes, no-fault divorce, SOGI laws, all harm the Christian family, while policies like lower taxes, protections for Christian businesses, protection for Christian schools (statements of faith, moral codes), etc. are all good for Christian families. But most pastors never talk about policies or laws, because they don’t think about how to defend the Christian worldview, how to educate Christian children, how to promote marriage, how promote Christian moral values in the public square. Even protecting the right to life of unborn children is ignored.

As the churches lose relevance, it becomes tempting for pastors to accept what the secular left promotes as good and true and beautiful. The big one is pastors pushing for redistribution of wealth by the secular government as a solution to “poverty”, even though the Bible only sanctions voluntary charity. This diminishes the cultural relevance of the church and elevates the secular government. SBC leaders like Russell Moore champion amnesty for refugees and unskilled illegal immigrants, not realizing how it will harm Christian institutions and values down the road to import large numbers of people who will eventually vote for policies like higher taxes, bigger government, etc.

11 thoughts on “Why don’t men go to church anymore? The decline of male church attendance”

  1. I, too, have had a great deal of difficulty finding a church, and for many of the same reasons you cite. Many churches today are heavily steeped in man’s doctrines as opposed to God’s. For example, what about the “marriage mandate” and the belief everyone should have kids? The belief men exist to be little more than a pack mule and walking ATM for some woman and her kids? The SBC seems among the worst for those. The Bible says no such things, especially the New Testament.

    I have finally found a few churches that aren’t hostile to mature single men, but it took a lot of searching.

    That said, I have not found one church with all the items listed in this post. Just an idea, perhaps you could find a church that is open to apologetics and then you could teach it there? I have found a few churches open to that, but that don’t have a current class in that. I wouldn’t mind doing it eventually myself, but I’m nowhere near well-versed enough to teach a class.

    You also might try finding some of the items listed in maybe some para-church organizations, possibly.

    For me, something big was expositional teaching, where the Bible is taught verse by verse and reference to the orIginal Greek or Hebrew is also taught. It’s important because not all the words of the original languages directly translate to English. As an example “Thou shalt not kill” actually means you shall not do murder. It seems maybe a little trifling at first glance, but knowing what the verse in it’s original language means really can make a difference in its meaning.

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    1. This:

      “For example, what about the “marriage mandate” and the belief everyone should have kids? The belief men exist to be little more than a pack mule and walking ATM for some woman and her kids? The SBC seems among the worst for those. The Bible says no such things, especially the New Testament.”

      People don’t realize how much this is annoying to men. To have women in the church buy into the Sexual Revolution 100% in high school and college, then return to the faith at age 32 and demand their entitlement husband. The pastor’s back them up 100% and bully men into marrying them if we have a job and savings an a house.

      Disgusting.

      I love expository preaching and I get it from sermons.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged over at To Reclaim Normality and commented:

    “Wintery Knight has just posted this excellent analysis of why men are abandoning what can only be described as “churchian franchises.

    “Although this has been an ongoing trend for the last few decades, I believe that another recent contribution to the trend that has further accelerated it has been the church’s less-than-valiant-and-scriptural reaction to the ongoing “Covidiocy” of the last few months. Such a reaction has “female fear” written all over it, something that men look upon with disdain. Displayss of cowardice, dear pastors, is NOT the way to attract men to the cause of Christ, or motivate them to join you in advancing it!”

    An excellent analysis, WK! This topic cannot be repeated often enough, but will have to be repeated incessantly if it is to gain any traction at all with today’s willfully ignorant and tone deaf “pastors” and their feminized congregations.

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  3. Great blog post as always Wintery. I do, however, want to comment on the block quote below.

    The Reformed Baptist SBC church is led by people like Russell Moore and Al Mohler, who take the “magic words” approach to evangelism. I.e. – they think that people become Christians just by speaking Bible verses out of context to them. So, when the atheist asks “do you have any evidence for God’s existence?” or “do you have any evidence for Jesus’ resurrection?”, their response is to quote Bible verses to the atheist, which have nothing to do with those topics. Christianity has lost so much influence in the culture under their approach, which is not even Biblical. (Mat 12:38–41)

    I am a member in Independent Baptist church that holds to Young Earth Creationism (Yes, I know, try not to laugh). I would say it also does take a “quoting bible verses” approach to personal evangelism at least as an entry point into the conversation about the gospel. I’m a huge fan of William Fey’s “Share Jesus Without Fear” approach to sharing the gospel which has the person who you are sharing the gospel with read the the chosen seven Bible verses for discussion. However, (I can’t emphasize this enough) it is the beginning of the conversation not the end. I agree with Greg Koukl that the Bible is not a magic book of incantations but it is certainly a legitimate starting point. If the person I’m talking to is an atheist/skeptic that will become clear soon enough in the conversion and where it needs to go next. The church I serve at does also allow me to teach on apologetic topics so as to reinforce the faith and promote that there’s all these wonderful resources out there that help with defending the faith. Maybe the church I serve in doesn’t quite fit into the SBC church you visited, but I just thought I share that there is sort of middle way to do this.
    By the way since we are on the topic of giving evidences for Christianity and the need for it do you really think that atheists (in general) simply lack good evidence for God and that’s the only reason why they lack faith? Is it really just a matter of “show me the evidence”? I’m skeptical of that even though I’m all for taking about evidences. If hurling bible verses at people is cringe worthy and then so is talking about the Kalam argument to a skeptic if the first premise is rejected.

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  4. WK –

    I worked as a IT consultant for a good bit where I traveled to quite a few places and worked there until my project ended. I have lived in ~ 20 different states. I eventually got fed up with the lifestyle and ended that… but my point is…

    It is very difficult finding a church where you feel like a great fit. Its very difficult and frustrating. Yes, no church is perfect, but some can drive you nuts. The SBC – you have to take them on a case by case basis. Some churches are great. Others… are part of the Churchianity of North America… with its churchians. Finding a church that is a good fit is truly a work of prayer.

    My 2 rusty green cents worth – If you can find a non-western church (e.g. South Asian – Indian, Pakistani, or Middle Eastern, etc.) that is run in English, then you might find a place that works for you and where your gifts are appreciated. I think you might become a teaching force there. While these folks are generally not that up on say the cerebral side of things, however when its presented, they will appreciate it.

    Check them out if you get a chance… nothing to lose…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, this is good advice. I have had good success in mentoring non-white women who were from other countries like Trinidad, Nigeria, etc. They listen to me. I made them study computer science, of course.

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  5. Pingback: Syzygy | Σ Frame
  6. Men don’t go to church anymore because

    — they’re tired of limp wristed effeminate pastors screaming at them to “man up”. Heh. You first, “pastor”.

    –They’re tired of being yelled at to man up and marry the sluts.

    –they’re tired of being set up to date some woman he goes to church with who drinks drinks and eats food he paid for, then tells him she’s not interested and then tells all the women at church about how awful and horrible those men were.

    –they’re sick to death of women they go to church with nuke rejecting them and ruining their reputations at the church, driving them out and forcing them to find new churches

    –they’re sick to death of faux “men’s ministries” that suggest the only role men have is as husbands and fathers; and harp incessantly on sexual morality at men.

    I have been told literally a thousand times at church not to look at pornography. I have been given reams of advice on how to be a “better” husband and father (which advice consists of “do whatever she wants, give her whatever she wants, she’s a sexual ‘slow cooker’ and needs time to ‘warm up’, she has to control all the sex, and do more dishes”).

    I am constantly told that I need to keep my “lust” in check by just not looking at or even noticing attractive women at all. I am constantly told that if i even so much as notice an attractive woman, I have committed “adultery in [my] heart”, that I have committed a grave sin, I’m going to hell, and my spouse has grounds to divorce me.

    I’m SICK OF IT. Stop screaming at me about porn. Stop yelling at me about what a crappy husband and father I am. Stop pedestalizing women. And stop accusing me of cheating on my wife just because I happened to notice a pretty young thing somewhere.

    You want to put on an effective ministry to men? How about teaching them to pray? How about teaching them to befriend and be around other men because iron sharpens iron? How about giving them something to lead, something to be responsible for? How about teaching them to minister to other men? And if you cannot do that, how about just leaving them alone and letting them “work out their own salvation with fear and trembling”?

    –they’re tired of “love songs to Jesus”.

    –they’re tired of the lack of reverence, the lack of awe, the lack of worship. High praise, deep worship – there’s none of it at churches.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And since the church is so anti-male, it spills over into men’s willingness to marry. I don’t want my future undermining my leadership by seeking out “spiritual” authorities from an anti-male church. Which means I’m not marrying at all. I don’t want to share leadership of my home with people who have the view that essential oils are more spiritual and higher priority than evidential apologetics. And this is every single American church.

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    2. Try asking church pastors whether sex withholding is a breech of the marriage covenant, and see their heads explode trying to explain away 1 Corinthians 7 so that it exonerates women. I’ve read “conservatives” who say that marital sex is conditional on whether the woman feels like it or not. Imagine if someone said that about the man’s working to provide for his family – that he only has to do it if he feels like it. As if men do whatever makes them feel good when they are husbands and fathers.

      I’m never going to be a slave and let these people rule over me.

      Liked by 1 person

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